Deb Fischer on Social Security
The two also disagreed on how to reform federal programs like Social Security and Medicare. Kerrey's plan would expand the payroll tax to higher income levels and would gradually increase the age of eligibility for benefits to 69 in 2075. Fischer's plan would increase the retirement age for people who are now younger than 40 and would limit benefits for the wealthy.
Both candidates strived to take cautious, balanced positions when asked whether America has become an entitlement nation. Fischer distanced herself from Mitt Romney's statement in which he said 47% of Americans don't pay income taxes and many feel entitled to government support; Fischer said, "People sometimes need help and government should be there for them."
KERREY: What she's saying, basically, is that if you're over 40, you're not going to have to participate in the solution. The question is not: Are we going to keep our commitments? But the question is: Are we going to do the right thing for our future?
A: The current Social Security and Medicare systems are unsustainable and must be reformed. I believe we must honor our commitment to those who are already on Social Security or those approaching eligibility. For those 40 years old and under, we need to look at raising the eligibility age and means testing.
Fischer spoke about possible changes to Social Security, while noting many lawmakers won't take a stand on the topic. "We need to look at means testing. We need to look at (raising) the eligibility age," she said.
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